That seems to be the question on many pundits minds over the past few days, now that I have the update (iOS developer program) I can tell you that 4.2 still keeps the iPad user just as focused. Even more it keeps the user more productive.
I saw quite a few posts where people were concerned that the focused environment the iPad forces upon you will all be lost once it gains multitasking support. Well that is all just a load of crap, yes you can switch apps quickly with multitasking, but that is all that really changes – you still only see one app (fullscreen) at a time.
I think that is perhaps the key to the single-tasking, focused work environment that the iPad offers – one app on your screen at a time. You are so easily distracted on your computer because you can see all the incoming email notifications, the growl popups, the Twitter replies – you can even have all these things on the same screen at once if you want to pretend you are in hell.
The iPad though is different, it is zen. You launch Simplenote, pop it into full screen mode and you can’t see anything else. That is focus, that is single tasking, that is then what everyone loves about the iPad. Multitasking (at least in iOS 4.2 beta 1) changes none of this. Sure I have only had the beta running for one night, but I can tell you that without a doubt it does not change the focus you can achieve from using an iPad. Multitasking does not make a device into a computer (at least not the way that Apple has implemented it), all multitasking does is makes the device a little easier to use.
The real change with iOS 4.2? Being able to use folders to organize apps – now that is useful.